Bad Faith Required Before Any Assessment of Attorneys’ Fees Against Beneficiary’s Share of their Inheritance
In the law, the American Rule, which controls assessment of attorneys’ fees arising out of litigation, provides that each party is responsible to pay its own attorney’s fees unless specific authority granted by statute or contract the assessment of those fees against the other party. Under the American rule every party, even the winning party, must pay its own attorneys’ fees. The American rule contrasts with the English Rule, under which the losing party pays the prevailing party’s attorneys’ fees. The rationale for the American rule is that people should not be discouraged from seeking redress for perceived wrongs in court or from trying to extend coverage of the law. The rationale continues that society would suffer if a person was unwilling to pursue a meritorious claim merely because that person would have to pay the defendant’s expenses if they lost.
Does the American Rule apply in the context of Florida Probate?
The Florida Probate Code, at Section 733.106, provides that any attorney who has rendered services to an estate may be awarded reasonable compensation from the estate. This section also provides that when costs and attorney’s fees are to be paid from the estate, the court may direct from what part of the estate they shall be paid. Read the rest of this entry